Photo: Anna MorginaAnna Morgina (RUS)
Russian 21-year-old Anna Morgina is featured for the month of July.
The young Russian spent the month competing in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt where she enjoyed a successful spell on court.
First up was a defence of her 2012 singles and doubles titles. For this she found herself seeded two and three in singles and doubles respectively.
Morgina’s partner in the doubles was Britain’s Sabrina Bamburac. The pair had first played together the previous week here in Sharm El Sheikh and made the semifinal but this time they made a shock first round exit. A 62 61 defeat ending Morgina’s title defence hopes.
She was, however, to experience better fortunes in her singles title defence. In the opening rounds she dropped just the one set, that coming in a second set tiebreak in the first round, to reach the semifinal.
Greek third seed Despoina Vogasari was her opponent and stunned the Russian by winning the opening six games to take the set to love.
Morgana’s game picked up in the second set and in a much more evenly contested set she levelled the match with a 64 win. She would then go on to repeat this score in the decisive set and move into the final.
Only Valeria Prosperi of Italy now stood between her and retaining the title and the Italian, although unseeded, had already upset the number one seed 63 61 in round one so could not be underestimated.
The final was, as expected, closely fought. Morgina seized the upper hand in the clash with a 64 first set win and, despite Prosperi fighting hard to level the match, pushed on to successfully defend her title by claiming the second set 63.
Having secured her first singles title of 2013, Morgina’s quest for title number two was soon underway.
Named as the top seed in singles and also with first time partner Naomi Totka of Hungary in doubles, Morgina came through the first round in three sets in both events. These wins were backed up with two straight sets victories to reach the singles semifinal and doubles final.
The doubles final brought together the top two seeded teams. Morgina’s dreams of adding to her success here in June were soon ended though as the number two seeds, Kristi Boxx and Abigail Guthrie of USA and New Zealand respectively, raced to a 61 62 title win.
Back in the singles event, Morgina reached another final with a 64 46 63 win to achieve back-to-back title triumphs for the first time in her career.
Week three of the month was to leave her without a title, although another final was reached.
As top seed once again in both events, Morgina suffered a surprise 63 76(1) second round exit in singles to Russian qualifier Ekaterina Tretyak but won through to the doubles final with Alina Mikheeva, a fellow Russian whom she was partnering with for the first time.
In the title match though they succumbed to a straight sets 63 62 loss to fourth seeds Lynn Kiro of South Africa and her partner Mayar Sherif of Egypt.
Morgina’s final tournament of the month saw her win a third singles title of the month but any hopes of winning a doubles title this month ended in a semifinal defeat to the eventual champions.
Seeded second, Morgina was partnering Ukrainian Anastasia Kharchenko. The pair had only once before teamed up, that coming back in May, also in Sharm El Sheikh and ended with them finishing as runners-up.
Her singles play was to end on a high with that third title win. Seeded sixth, Morgina won through the first three rounds in straight sets to reach a semifinal showdown with Slovakian top seed Zuzana Zlochova.
Only seven games were played in the semifinal and with Morgina leading 60 1-0 her opponent retired from the match, handing the Russian a place in the final. German qualifier Linda Prenkovic lined up to face Morgina in the title match but Morgina proved too strong and claimed the title with a 63 62 victory.
The opening rankings release of August by the WTA saw Morgina climb to a new career high ranking of 542.